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School & Library Network

Advisory Board Meeting Minutes

June 10, 1998

Members Present: Bill Black, Stephen Gilbert, Phil Lindley, Barry McCrum,

Linda Lord (for Ray Poulin), Gary Nichols, Art Henry (for

Barry Crommet) Joanne Steneck

Members Absent: Reginald Palmer

1, April 29, 1998 meeting minutes approved.

2. Report on Applications and Installations. 1124 sites are currently connected. Gary Nichols said a number of additional libraries have been certified as eligible.

3. Report on Status of Network. Bell Atlantic and the University continue to follow-up on any complaints. Board members who hear complaints should have the individual call the Bell Atlantic toll free number 1-800-315-0633.

Art reported that the University intends to include answers to frequently asked questions on the MSLN website. This should be available by June 30. At the next meeting, Art will provide a report in each complaint received and resolution.

The University currently has 4T1's (6 mgb) in operation for MSLN, by July an additional T-1 will be installed and by September another T-1 bringing the Network up to 9 mgb. An inverse multiplexer will be installed next week.

4. Commission Order of June 4, 1998. In connection with the discussion of the status of the Network, Joanne Steneck raised the issue of the "SWAT Team" approach suggested in the Commission's June 4, 1998 Order. This would involve hiring 1-2 persons who would visit individual sites to troubleshoot problems. Bill Black made a motion for the Board to endorse the concept. Barry McCrum seconded. All Board members present (with the exception made below) voted to recommend to the Commission the adoption of the concept of a rapid response team to assist schools and libraries with problems in achieving basic connectivity. Bill agreed to draft a letter to the Commission reflecting the Board's position. Joanne Steneck and Phil Lindley abstained because of their involvement as staff members in advising the Commission on this matter.

The Board also discussed the need to make sites, more "self-sustaining". In particular, the Board discussed ways to encourage community volunteers and high school students (particularly those with community service obligations) to assist libraries.

5. Update on Training. John Pierce reported that 772 of the expected 1671 persons (42%) had received training as of May 31, 1998. This second round of training began in February 1998. John will provide a more detailed report after June 30, 1998. This will include a breakdown on the type of training received. He will e-mail the report to Board members as soon as it is available.

6. Status of Universal Service Support (Federal E-Rate) for Schools and Libraries. Linda Lord reported on the controversy continuing in Congress over the E-Rate program and its administration and the level and source of funding. On June 12, 1998, the FCC will consider possible changes to the program including the level of funding, and prioritizing the funding for the neediest sites.

Linda reported that 450 requests from Maine's schools and libraries are awaiting federal approval. Because the staff has been extremely busy helping sites with requested corrections to their applications, DOE still does not have a breakdown of which schools and libraries applied and for what services. Art Henry distributed a list that Bell Atlantic had put together from reviewing the applications of the Federal website.

7. Generic e-mail addresses. The MSLN website now includes a list of the 489 schools that have responded to the request to designate a link for a generic e-mail address for the school. This includes 437 of 619 connected public schools. The libraries are not yet listed because of problems with 26 sites. The Board directed Art to list the other 208 libraries that have provided links. Art said the libraries would be available by June 12, 1998. Linda Lord will work with Art to see that the Superintendent's list is also available.

Meeting adjourned at 11:50. Next meeting is scheduled for August 12, 1998 at the Commission.